How to Order & Compare Numbers to 999,999,999: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Comparing and Ordering
  • 1:23 Count the Digits
  • 2:59 Compare Place Values
  • 5:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

When you are working with numbers, it's important to be able to compare the value of two or more numbers. In this lesson, you will learn how to order and compare numbers by using the terms greater than, less than, and equal to.

Comparing and Ordering

Do you want to visit the candy factory in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Just imagine all the free candy, the chocolate river, and those cheery Oompa Loompas. People who run candy factories often have to compare numbers to see what candies are the most popular.

You can compare any group of numbers, including candy sales, by using three different terms. Each of these terms comes with a special symbol:

  • The symbol > means greater than
    • 35 lollipops > 4 chocolates
  • The symbol < means less than
    • 5 hard candies < 24 gumdrops
  • The symbol = means equal to
    • 18 candy bars = 18 pieces of licorice

Let's imagine that we sold all of those candies. If we made a list of the candy sales in order from the smallest amount sold to the biggest amount sold, it would look like this:

4 chocolates, 5 hard candies, 18 candy bars, 18 pieces of licorice, 24 gumdrops, 35 lollipops
4, 5, 18, 18, 24, 35

These are pretty small numbers. Let's explore how to compare and order larger numbers.

Count the Digits

When comparing two or more numbers, you should first count the number of digits in each number.

Whole numbers with more digits in them are greater than numbers with fewer digits. This is because the more digits a whole number has, the more place values it includes and the larger the number becomes.

Look at the example of the total candies sold by the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory this year.


Let's find the least popular candy by looking for the number with the least amount of digits.

Our chart says that 146 lollipops were sold. This number is 3 digits long and the other numbers have more digits, so this is our smallest number. Its largest number is in the hundreds place.

The next most popular seller is rock candy, with 23,504. This number has 5 digits, with the highest place value being the ten thousands.

Finally, the most popular seller and greatest number is gummy worms at 458,605,495. This number has 9 digits, with the highest place value being the hundred millions.

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